Car struck by Amtrak train downtown

No one was injured when a car was struck shortly before 2:30 this afternoon on the Second Street SW SE railroad crossing by a passing Amtrak train. The Westbound Amtrak Cardinal was delayed while a crew from Charlottesville Wrecker cleared the damaged Oldsmobile Intrigue from the CSX/Buckingham Branch tracks.

The car, bearing several bumper stickers–- including "I [heart] mountains" and "This is Your Brain on Hugs"–- appeared to have been traveling southbound, away from the Downtown Mall near the X Lounge restaurant, at the time of the incident. Two Amtrak officials, who said they were conductors, referred media questions to Amtrak headquarters.

Whether or not the safety gate-equipped crossing was properly working could not be immediately determined.

[More photographs]


Update/clarification: The accident occurred at 1:52pm and delayed the train and its 192 passengers for 65 minutes, according to an Amtrak spokesperson. City spokesperson Ric Barrick says that police ticketed the driver, 45-year-old Hisham Naim Ashur of Charlottesville, who has numerous past summonses for traffic violations including defective headlights, failure to obey a traffic sign, following too closely, speed, inspection, failure to stop, and failure to yield. In this case, Barrick says, Ashur was cited for Disregard of a railroad traffic signal. A telephone listing for Ashur could not be found, and an email sent to an address he might have used was not returned.

Read more on: amtraktrain wreck


2nd St. Southwest and Water Street
6 0.018920 224667E CSX VA CHARLOTTESV CHARLOTTESV 2ND ST 0 0 0 0 0 GT 14 2 15 (mph) YES 2 2,237
Quiet Zone: 24 hr
Passenger Service: AMTRAK
Avg Passenger Train Count: 2

Can't wait for the call for lawsuits.

If only the village elders would get rid of the one way 4th Street underpass. Silly elders, one ways are for kids.

The underpass was changed to one-way in anticipation of a traffic problem. What traffic problem I don't know.

It's 2nd St. SOUTHEAST, not Southwest. A train stopped there for my dog once while she ate a piece of fried chicken on a tie. Extremely embarrassing.

The vehicle driver blindsided by faulty signal equipment have no mouth?

Oh, this is gonna be fun. The crash wasn't as bad as the emergency vehicles hauling freight through the intersections trying to get to it. Wonder they didn't kill somebody. One idiot in a marked police Ford Escape got in the right turn lane in front of the bus station on West Main and made a left turn into opposing traffic, trying to miss the intersetion at West Main and McIntire Road. Another marked police Crown Victoria came hauling freight through the same intersection Mr. Mitchell was run over in by a police car not long ago. Lights and siren or no lights and siren, they all drive way too fast in city traffic. The fire department and rescue squad vehicles were the only emergency vehicles I saw that were driving like they had any sense at all. Which reminds me, I saw a wrecked Albemarle Sheriff's Office vehicle at Cosner's Body Shop while passing by there this afternoon. The entire front end is torn off the car. And a wrecked and demolished Charlottesville police Impala sitting in City Yard last week. Haven't seen any wrecked fire department or rescue squad vehicles lately though.

Good thing there wasn't a lot of wheelchair bound people in the crosswalks while this train crash event was taking place. :)